Facilitators: Patricia Deklotz, Kettle Moraine School District and Odelia Younge, Digital Promise
Essential Question: How do we build compensation structures that align district resources and professional learning needs to include micro-credentials?
This session focused on financial recognition for competency-based learning through micro-credentials. Participants set out to develop a financial incentive design framework, recognizing the limits of a “model” and more importantly that “every district is different.”
A series of guiding questions informed their discussion:
- How can we promote and message multiple currencies so the conversation about financial recognition is not narrowly limited?
- What stakeholders need to be part of the discussions, decision-making, information-sharing, and potential policy changes?
- Should there be varying types of financial recognition available according to the type of micro-credential, e.g. stipend vs. recurring salary increase?
The group defined their challenge: Develop and design a series of compensation alternatives that align district resources to support micro-credential incentives.
Understanding that every district has different needs, participants sought a framework design that could help district and state leaders determine their own goals and next steps. They also wanted to create a way to personalize the experience and leverage existing models of financial incentives, while also considering possible new ones.
The design framework reflects the critical need to determine what success looks like to understand what makes a financial model ready for and worth scaling. It starts with examining case studies and considering the policy environment and possible available funding. From there, a state or district can determine which types of compensation models are the best candidates for their particular context. Leaders can then define a theory of action and involve all relevant stakeholders in the planning and process.
Financial Recognition Symposium Presentation
The resulting framework identified the following steps:
- Identify need
- Research and customize
- Communicate, implement, collect and analyze data, repeat
- Reflect and decide
- Summarize and share
The group identified the primary audience for their design framework as district and state policymakers, administrators, school board members, union leaders, educators, and institutions of higher education. State leaders could help bring together various stakeholders at convenings to walk through the process and allocate funds to support district models and evaluations. At the district level, leaders would be responsible for budget allocations, communications, technology infrastructure, and building buy-in across all stakeholders.
The design framework should be iterative and expand over time. Group members hope to refine the framework, share the framework with networks of schools and other stakeholders for feedback, identify pilot sites, and publish case studies.